Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

No Future for the Liberal Arts?

John Moser writes that we shouldn’t be surprised when today’s college students take a narrowly utilitarian view of their education. Although students today are as restless as their counterparts were in the 1960’s, yet there is a difference. As he explains this difference and the "radical subjectivism" of their teachers (those in the vast majority who are the products of the 60’s), he paints a bleak picture of the state of the liberal arts education in today’s academy. Worth a read, and could lead to a good conversation. 

Discussions - 1 Comment

What do you mean by product of the 60’s? (not subjectivism...ext... I understand that) But more fundamentally why are a certain group of people a product of the times they live in? (such that they could be refered to as "product of the 60’s")
Why not product of the "universal human condition"?

If there is a universal human condition it would seem to be that man must always live within a particular time/state/space. Agree or Disagree? Why? Is this presupposed in the very meaning of "product of the 60’s"?

“After all, once one rejects the notion that an author is capable of speaking to the universal human condition, no written work can make any claim to "relevance" for more than a couple of years.”

I agree with your statement, but I think that by making it you are saying that it is true that consciousness affects how truth is received. It is troubling, the extent to which our mental condition has as much to do with how an argument is received as the argument itself. But then of what consists our mental condition? In what sense would it be a great folly to try to pretend that this is not related in a deep way to the spirit of the times, and thus our very capability to understand any of these books would have to stand in relation to our interest in terms of what we are capable of finding relevant. Yet you don’t just click your fingers and overnight find something relevant. You have to be able to make an actual connection. Truth is not just subject to these constitutional questions. The constitutional questions make up part of truth.

Forgive this if it sounds foolish, but I am trying to deal with Hegel, and to help me make connections I am bringing up questions that bother me. How would you deal with how "Truth" relates to changes in the constitution of a people or individual? Do we, or are we really capable of having a passion for learning as an end in itself? If so by learning wouldn’t we mean something radically different from what was ment in the past? Haven’t conditions changed considerably and won’t such change in conditions continue to accelerate, such that for us to say that we can understand the ancients is really a strange farce or duplicity? At what point in history will the multiplication of different avenues for the use our time affect what we will hold to be highest? Can this have an effect upon that which is really highest? In otherwords can what is really highest remain highest forever? The best life in Socrates time may have consisted in walking around doing philosophy, is it so today: for all? for some? for few? for none? What if by the shear refinement of luxury Epicurus becomes right? After all means of achieving pleasure have become much more sophisticated, so much better! Yet the human mind is running on the same capacity, and hardly nothing new can now be discussed, nor perhaps would one be able to find those with whom one could discuss anything one considered worthwhile. I don’t think the conversation will die, but if it does won’t it be because people think: so much the better!?

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